What are the trends for marketing careers in the professions?

Posted on: April 21, 2009

In Spring 2009, a 3,000 word article that I wrote for Legal Marketing magazine covers this topic in some detail – let me know if you would like a copy.

    However, the key themes emerging are:

Marketing vs business development

There appears to be a divergence between those in the centre doing the long and medium term analysis, strategy and planning or communications and those “in the field” working alongside the partners who are more focused on short term sales, account and relationship management activities.

Awareness vs relationship marketing

The professions still like to keep their marketing folk away from the clients. Often the marketers are limited to activities that raise awareness of the firm, practice group or individual partner. Yet in order to manage the sales pipeline properly, there needs to be a whole bunch of activities designed to create and manage the relationship – whether with a referrer/intermediary or a client.

Changing qualifications

Whereas experience used to be the main recruitment criteria, marketing in the professions are become increasingly professionalized with most people now having a formal marketing qualification. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (see the Students section for background information) used to be the gold standard. But there is increasing pressure for marketers to specialise in areas such as market research, public relations and even selling and there are separate qualifications for these. Furthermore, as work increasingly requires working with human resources, finance and technology the need for more general management qualifications (e.g. an MBA) becomes more important.

Fee-earner turned marketer

With the recognition that product knowledge is increasingly important (especially in selling and relationship management roles) it might seem easier to train a lawyer, surveyor or accounting in marketing than vice versa. More and more marketing teams in the larger firms now have people qualified in both marketing and a profession such as law, accountancy or land management.

Additional skills required

ncreasingly marketers are expected to have a toolbox of sophisticated skills that lie outside marketing – for example, coaching, persuasion, negotiation, project management and change management.

Digital overload

The Internet has changed the face of marketing beyond recognition. Experience with digital PR, e-campaigns, social networks, viral networking, data mining, search engine optimisation, blogging (and tweeting), video communication, podcasting, pay per click and webinars is now needed at all levels.

International experience

Whilst the Australians and New Zealanders have always recognised the importance of OE (Overseas Experience) it is becoming increasingly necessary for everyone to have experience of working outside their home territory.

Imminent MDPs

In a couple of years the LSA will enable MDPs – so marketers will be increasingly familiar with all the professions.

I do not restrict access to the FAQs but I politely request that you let me know by email and acknowledge the source (www.kimtasso.com) if you wish to use the material anywhere.

As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful.

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